Jewish Funeral Traditions on The Doyenne of Death Podcast

Jan 5, 2023 | 0 comments

Jewish star on casket

Jewish star on casket

Although Jewish funeral traditions are thousands of years old, many Jews today are unfamiliar with those rites. David Zinner, founder and past executive director of Kavod v’Nichum (Honor and Comfort), discusses these traditions with Gail Rubin, host of The Doyenne of Death® Podcast.

Topics discussed during the show include:

  • The differences between Jewish and Christian funeral traditions;
  • What are the Chevrah Kaddisha, shmira and tahara;
  • Elements of the ceremony of washing and dressing of the dead;
  • How Jewish burial is naturally green burial;
  • Jewish traditions around dying, death, funerals, burials, cemeteries, grief and mourning.

Kavod v’Nichum (Honor and Comfort) is a nonprofit organization that works to restore Jewish death and bereavement practices, including the traditions and values of kavod hamet (honoring the dead) and nichum avelim (comforting the bereaved). Zinner was also the founder and Executive Director of the Gamliel Institute, a center for leadership training and advocacy of traditional Jewish practice in the continuum of care at the end of life. Learn more at their website,

This interview was originally recorded July 31, 2013. The program is in two parts, less than 30 minutes each. Listen to Part One. Listen to Part Two.

About The Doyenne of Death

The Doyenne of Death podcast artNew episodes of The Doyenne of Death® podcast are released every Thursday. Episodes are available on the podcast playlist on YouTube as well as wherever you get your podcasts. Recent shows focus on Greek Orthodox funeral traditions, Near Death Experiences (NDEs), the physical impacts of grief, and an interview about the book Last Rites: The Evolution of the American FuneralListen to Gail Rubin’s introduction to the series and subscribe here.

Gail Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist, a Certified Funeral Celebrant, an award-winning author and speaker, creator of Newly-Dead® The Game and five-time coordinator of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival. Learn more about Gail Rubin, the podcast, and her work in death education.

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A Good Goodbye